The Bantams play their first match in this season's new-look Checkatrade Trophy this evening following a change in the format to the competition brought into play by the EFL over the summer. Stoke City are tonight’s visitors at the Northern Commercials Stadium with the team being taken by the club’s Under 23s manager, Glyn Hodges. City are expected to be coming up against a youthful side but competition rules means that Stoke only have to ensure that six of the starting eleven are under age of 21 as of the end of June this year. There is the potential for Hodges to involve some first team players if he wishes to do so.
Stoke are among sixteen category one football clubs who were invited into the competition ahead of the 2016/17 season. Other notable names, include Everton, Chelsea, West Ham United and Southampton.
Stephen Darby is expected to make his return from injury as well as Matthew Kilgallon, with the latter set to make his debut for the club. Josh Cullen, away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland Under-21s side, will not feature this evening.
Along with Cullen’s absence, some first team players could be given a rest given the busy start to the season. The likes of Nicky Law, Romain Vincelot and Billy Clarke are unlikely to play any part this evening.
Academy quartet Ellis Hudson, Kwame Boateng, Niah Payne and Tom Windle are likely to be included in the squad and could play their part with all four still waiting to make their debut for Bradford City.
Michael Salisbury will take charge of this evening’s game for his fifth of the season. He was the man in the middle for Doncaster Rovers’ 4-1 victory against Yeovil Town at the weekend and sent off Yeovil defender Bevis Mugabi.
In four League Two games this season, Salisbury has dished out 11 yellow cards with just the one red. He spent last season refereeing in the Vanarama National League and he will be taking charge of his first Bradford City game this evening.
Here are the latest betting odds provided by the English Football League’s official betting partner, Sky Bet:
Bradford City – 8/15
Draw – 16/5
Stoke City – 17/4
You can listen to full match commentary on Bantams Player HD with Pulse 2 Matchday Live’s Jason Thornton and Chris Cooper providing it.
You can also follow our live updates via our official Facebook and Twitter social media channels, on there we will also bring you post-match reaction from the manager, with the full interview as always, available on Bantams Player HD.
You can read our full match report on the website also. If you can’t make it to the Northern Commercials Stadium tonight, there’s no need to worry we have you covered!